Holiday Lessons Learned: I’m Fake…And I’m OK With That

22 comments
December 24, 2012 ‐ By Prudence
Source: Shutterstock.com

Source: Shutterstock.com

There’s something about going home that is so…interesting. Like a study in human nature, social interaction, annoyance and nostalgia all wrapped up in one. On the one hand, you know what to expect from your surroundings, your family and your close friends; but inevitably something goes down that just… catches you a bit off guard. And that’s what happened to me.

I like to think I learned something about myself, this past Friday. My dad, sister and I all needed to do some last minute Christmas shopping, some more than others, and decided to ride out to the mall after we were finished working. Now, I should note that this mall is the mall where I’m from and being that it was less than a week away from Christmas, I knew I was going to see at least one person I knew from childhood, high school, church, or something. So I made sure to put a little make up on, so my fear of being cast off as a has been that never quite was didn’t come true. I dressed with the intention of having to speak to at least one person. Casual, so as to not look like I was trying too hard; but still cute, so I wouldn’t look like I had let myself go.

As my father, sister and I entered the mall and quickly went our separate ways, I was looking for people just as much as I was looking for merchandise. And sure enough, it didn’t take long before I saw her.

Peaches.*

Peaches was my best friend in 3rd grade. We spent practically all of our free time together. Peaches would ride the bus home with my sister and I after school and chill at our house until her mother came to pick her up. We spent almost everyday of the summer together, making up songs and plays, dancing around the house and talking about who we wanted to be when we grew up. We both could not wait to grow up. Little did I know, the whole growing up business would come much sooner for one of us. By the time we were in fifth grade, Peaches and I were clearly drifting apart. Though it wasn’t anything that happened overnight, we were changing into girls that had less and less in common. While I was always a bit boy crazy in my thoughts, Peaches was ready to take the next step and turn said thoughts into actions. She was dressing differently, learning how to flirt and focusing less and less on something that we once both valued, our school work.

Eventually, there were a few events that would let me know that Peaches and I weren’t going to be the type of childhood friends who grow old together. In fifth grade, Peaches convinced me to show up late to class so we could go see a couple of boys we liked on the other side of the school. Keep in mind, this was fifth grade, when children have to be accounted for at all times; not junior high or high school when you have a bit more freedom. When I finally came back to my classroom, my teacher was shocked, disappointed and maybe even a bit angry. School was important to me, so I wasn’t accustomed to getting in trouble, especially over something as stupid as going to see a boy. My teacher told me, flat out, and then again in front of my mother, that I’d have to make some tough decisions about the people I was going to keep in my life and how I was going to allow their presence to positively or negatively affect me. My mother assured her, that I’d figure it out.

Moms has a great track record of being right.

The very next year in sixth grade I wrote Peaches off after she asked me to show her my answers from some homework worksheet she had neglected to finish. Now, maybe if I knew less about her intelligence or if she had used the word “help” instead of “give” then I might not have declined; but since I did and we were already on the verge of a break anyway, I said no and that was pretty much the last time we spoke.

You might have thought that would have been the last I ever heard of her; but just because we were no longer communicating face to face didn’t mean she didn’t send random friends to relay messages. In 7th grade, when an 8th grader just so happened to like me, she sent one of her friends to tell me that this guy had actually liked her first. I guess to make me think I was second choice.

Needless to say we have a bit of a sorted history.

So when I saw Peaches at the mall, all the feelings associated with all those mini fallouts came back to my remembrance and I made the snap decision, since she didn’t see me, not to call her name and speak to her. Instead, I looked to see how she had changed over the years, turned before she could see my face and walked away.

For a while after, I wrestled with my decision not to speak to her. Was it fake? Definitely. Was it rude? Probably. Should I have spoken? Probably not.

Then like five minutes later, I called my sister to tell her what happened. Turns out, she saw Peaches too and, unlike me, decided to speak. The conversation was short and bland. How are you? Good. How’s your mom? Good. How are your parents and sister? Good. Good. Good.

It wasn’t until my sister replayed the whole interaction, that I realized not speaking might not have been so bad after all. What really would have been accomplished by the conversation? Would we have learned anything new about each other, mended our old relationship? Probably not. The whole thing would have been fake and honestly unnecessary.

*Name has been changed.

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  • Rhondayes

    Some of you guys are so funny..or, maybe with age comes the distance of wisdom.
    I walk into a room where friends and frenemies are, because I know that I am going to have fun with them all. I know who I am and this frees me to not care what any of them have to say. I speak to all of them, because they don’t define me or my happiness in that space. I am in control of what I feel and laugh in the face of those that may seek to antagonize me, because I leave anger and outrage at home; nobody is going to steal my joy.

  • anonymous

    I don’t get it, would it have taken something away from you to say hello? It seems a bit childish to me…

  • Bee

    This has so happened to me! I’ve learned that even those people from your childhood can be seasonal, so as much as I tried to mend old friendships with childhood friends, I learned that sometimes we just drift apart. And that’s okay.

  • Kmx

    I used to be the person that spoke to everyone, regardless of whether they remembered me or not. Lately, however, I’ve had people look me dead in my face and act as if they didn’t see me. Initially, I was hurt, but now I realize that those people are acquaintances, not friends.

  • Kaori

    I don’t care for fake pleasantries and small talk. I only speak to people if they see me first. This is one of the reasons why I don’t care to be asked, “How are you doing?” or have people tell me to “Have a good day!”

  • pickneychile

    My girl, I know exactly how you feel. I have run into people countless times that I don’t keep in contact with and I almost never speak to them. The one time I decided to speak to someone they basically played me out. Never again! Lol and merry Christmas everyone :-)

  • chanela

    offtopic but MANNNNN i wish my legs looked like the sista in the picture!!

    • Cat

      Stop wishing and go get ‘em girl! :)

      • chanela

        well because of my bone structure that’s never gonnna happen.lol look up jennifur hudson’s legs in shorts and how horrible and knock kneed they are and that’s exactly how mine look.lol

  • Negress

    It’s ok to let sleeping dogs lie. I always thought I was supposed to treasure people when I met them and not cling to them for dear life’s sake. They had a gift within them to teach me something I wouldn’t have known otherwise or I had something to share with them. Once that season expires, we may not be on the same page. No hard feelings. K.I.M. keep it moving.

  • bluekissess

    I’ve always knew that high school friendships hardly ever last. Most of the time it’s unintentional it’s just people are chasing other goals. Which is understandable I never really took it to heart. But, I do think about the few “friendships” I.did have.

  • Shaybaby

    I don’t believe the author is being fake by choosing not to speak to her childhood friend. Trying to carry on a conversation w/ her that you have no interest in would be fake. She did the right thing by going about her business.

  • MadiRae

    It seems more fake to talk to people you haven’t seen in years, and all of a sudden seem super concerned about what there up to and vice versa. I think you made the right decision.

    • chanela

      how is that fake? what if you ARE interested in what is going on with them?lol

  • Allie

    I have just a few select friends from high school that I managed to keep connected with and spend time with during our breaks, the rest sort of fell by the waste side..at first it was hard, but of course no one stays around forever

    • bluekissess

      Totally agreeable.

  • Nikki

    After high school graduation, I learned who my lifelong friends were. I can’t be the one making the calls to hang out.

    • bluekissess

      Yes that makes since. Facebook was supposed to keep that connection more convenient. That hasn’t really worked out for me . I’ve found myself walking away a lot. I can’t be the only one reaching out.

    • chanela

      i’m going through the same thing! once the people i talked to and considered friends got married and got boyfriends and stuff then it was as if i never even existed anymore. they pretty much only call me when they need something and yes i COULD call them, but i’m always the one calling and wondering how everybody is doing. i sat back to see if they WOULD call me and do the same but for 5 months, nada!

      so why am i gonna call people when they ain’t even thinkin about me and i feel like i’m bothering them when i call so forget it. fck a friend!

  • IllyPhilly

    Nope, not fake. The people I don’t talk to on a regular don’t get talked to during the holidays either.

    • Rhondayes

      It doesn’t have to be that way and shouldn’t be. You give people power to control your reaction and peace, when you don’t let go of the initial hurt or disagreement.
      How much better you would feel if you could walk into a room and dominate them, because you are free of any emotional hold they may have over you? Think about it.

      • Guest

        It sounds good, but I know it’s gonna take time until I don’t have to beat ‘em down two mo’ feet.